Walgreens Promotes Exec
Deerfield, Ill. Walgreens promoted Steven Lubin to divisional VP and the new position of general manager of marketing for non-mainland operations. Lubin will be responsible for the marketing needs of customers in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.
Lubin joined the company in 1970 as a stock clerk in Chicago, and has risen steadily up through its ranks. He became a divisional merchandise manager in 1988 and a general manager of marketing for Puerto Rico in 2004.
Award offers insight into marketing push
Wal-Mart’s increased emphasis on consumer insights, which surfaced two years ago, has resulted in The NPD Group being recognized as the syndicated supplier of the year for a department called, “insights and customer strategy.”
Accolades for supplier of the year are common throughout the retailer industry, but are typically bestowed on merchandise suppliers. In Wal-Mart’s case, the award received by The NPD Group underscores the important role now occupied by providers of consumer insights that follows a major shift several years ago that saw Wal-Mart adopt a customer segmentation strategy.
That shift followed a major overhaul of Wal-Mart’s marketing department that infused the organization with executives from the consumer packaged goods industry where customer segmentation strategies are commonplace. As Wal-Mart sought to better understand the behaviors and motivations of the customers shopping its stores, supplier teams dedicated to the Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club accounts increased their research capabilities and information providers developed new products.
That was the case with The NPD Group which created a customized Consumer Tracking Service for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club, which provides the retailers and select suppliers with an extensive view of what’s happening within and across categories based on identified consumer segments.
Market unfazed by top line disappointment
Investors didn’t seem to mind that January same-store sales results that Wal-Mart reported on Thursday for its U.S. operations were weaker than expected. Despite the disappointment, shares of the company traded higher on the day following an early morning sale release that showed January comps totaled 0.2%, compared to guidance of 2%. The news caused shares to open sharply lower at $47.85 from Wednesday’s close of $48.83. However, Wal-Mart shares staged a recovery throughout the day on heavier than normal trading volume to close up $1.01 at $49.84.